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Tax overhaul moves ahead, North Korea tests powerful missile, Meek Mill denied emergency motion | Morning Newsletter

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Federal prosecutors are now time-barred from bringing some of the charges they were considering in a probe of payments U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s campaign made to a 2012 primary challenger. Brady is shown here waiting for the start of a Nov. 21 news conference at City Hall in Philadelphia.
Federal prosecutors are now time-barred from bringing some of the charges they were considering in a probe of payments U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s campaign made to a 2012 primary challenger. Brady is shown here waiting for the start of a Nov. 21 news conference at City Hall in Philadelphia.Read more( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )

Welcome to Wednesday. Today the U.S. and South Korea are on edge following a powerful missile test in North Korea, and the U.S. braces for a potential tax overhaul, too.

If you like what you're reading, it's free to sign up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, so please email me, tweet me @aubsn, or reach our social team on Facebook.

— Aubrey Nagle

» READ MORE: Is the FBI still investigating Rep. Bob Brady?

For U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, who has been accused of illegally paying a 2012 primary competitor to drop out, a federal indictment was a potentially looming. But, it turns out, on Sunday Justice Department lawyers let the statute of limitations expire on many of the charges he could have faced.

Brady isn't in the clear yet; officials won't say whether this means the end of the investigation. But his legal team is cautiously optimistic.

Plus, Brady could still be charged with lying to the FBI or filing a false campaign report, among other purported crimes. These are still within their statute of limitation.

» READ MORE: Tax overhaul moves forward, shutdown looms

Last night, a Senate panel approved the GOP effort to rewrite the tax code, sending it to the full Senate for a vote. Now several Republicans who had wavered over their support are considering backing the bill.

But it's not a done deal: a handful are still uncommitted, and Republicans only control the senate by a  52-48 lead.

A meeting between Trump and congressional leaders to avoid a government shutdown derailed yesterday as Trump tweeted attacks on top Democrats. Congress's deadline to keep federal agencies open is a week from Friday.

» READ MORE: Are Pittsburgh rapper’s words a crime?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a First Amendment case over a rap song that included the lyrics "Let's kill these cops, cause they don't do us no good" and references to two Pittsburgh police officers.

The rapper, Jamal Knox, 23, looks to overturn his conviction for terroristic threats and witness intimidation. The question at hand: was the song protected under his right to free speech or does it constitute a criminal threat?

Depending on the court's decision, the case could rise to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What you need to know today

  1. North Korea launched a powerful, nuclear-capable ICBM missile yesterday that observers say is capable of reaching any part of the U.S., raising fears of a preemptive U.S. strike.

  2. The teen found dead on top of a SEPTA train last week at Jefferson Station has been identified as Raekwon Jones, 15, of Philadelphia. Sources say he may have been a runaway.

  3. The Pennsylvania Superior Court denied Meek Mill's emergency motion to be released from prison immediately on bail yesterday — but they did order a judge to rule on his bail petition.

  4. The four residents killed in the fire at Barclays Friends nursing home in West Chester have been identified. Questions remain as officials investigate the source of the blaze.

  5. A founding member and CEO of Universal Companies, a nonprofit launched by legendary Philly music producer Kenny Gamble, is now the target of a federal investigation. It's not about Universal, but the CEO's office and home were raided.

  6. A female bicyclist was killed yesterday following a collision with a private garbage truck on 11th and Spruce Streets. Cycling advocates held a vigil for the bicyclist last night.

  7. A pair of Philly restaurants is paying $830,000 in back wages and damages to 156 workers. Staffers were regularly working over 40 hours a week and weren't paid overtime.

» READ MORE: #OurPhilly

We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out to build those followers!

That’s Interesting

  1. Philly stars pulled in a slew of Grammy nominations with Lil Uzi Vert, The War On Drugs, Pink, and Kevin Hart (for a comedy album) all getting award nods.

  2. Drumroll, please: this year's Academy of Music Anniversary Concert will feature Steve Martin. 

  3. The Woman Who Smashed Codes, a book by a longtime Philly journalist about a woman who helped the U.S. win two wars by cracking codes, has just been optioned by the creators of CBS drama The Good Wife.

  4. The Flyers lost their ninth straight match last night, prompting fans to chant they hope to fire coach Dave Hakstol. Eek.

  5. When Connie Tartaglia, of Connie's Ric Rac in the Italian Market, grieved her son's death from cancer, painting slowly soothed her. Now she's putting on an art show to raise funds for cancer research.

  6. Don't forget where you came from: at one Philly recording studio, you pay in community service (and a little cash).

  7. Need a pep talk to get to the weekend? Enjoy this compilation of the Eagles' best touchdown celebrations this season.

  8. If you've been watching Spike Lee's new Netflix series, She's Gotta Have It, you may have noticed a familiar front page grace the screen.


"What every CEO knows but won't tell you is this: A tax break for their company simply means a fatter bottom line. Not jobs. Not investment. Just more money in the pockets of the folks like me." — La Colombe founder Todd Carmichael supports Sen. Bob Casey's effort to push against tax breaks for corporations.
  1. Senator Pat Toomey supports the GOP's tax reform bill, and writes that it will expand job growth in Pennsylvania.

  2. Trump must be censured for his overt racism, or nothing else matters, writes columnist Will Bunch following the president's comments to the Navajo Code Talkers Monday.

What we’re reading

  1. Some residents of Southwest Philly's Eastwick neighborhood think damage caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 was man-made while experts say it was the result of a "quadruple threat." PlanPhilly does a great job explaining the complexities of Eastwick's flood zone.

  2. If you watched last night's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, you need to read about the New Jersey sisters who created an angel's fashion show for women of all shapes. The story on it is giving me life.

  3. Harry and Meghan have nothing on Inquirer reporter Chris Palmer and fiancee Vicky Kinzig. Philadelphia Magazine featured their engagement photos which were shot at the newspaper's printing plant.

  4. If, like me, you're completely behind on what movies you're supposed to be watching this Oscar season, this Vulture article on "How to Win an Oscar" acts like a quickie cheat sheet.

  5. I haven't seen Pixar's Coco yet, but I'm a sucker for behind-the-scenes shop talk and this Wired story on how they animated all those skeletons is fascinating.

Your Daily Dose of | Doppelgängers

The internet can’t stop pointing out that Prince Harry and Eagles QB Carson Wentz look alike. What do you think?